We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men uniquely inspired by God, and is a perfect collection of spiritual instruction. Its author is God, its aim is salvation, and its content is pure without error. The Bible reveals everything we need to learn from God for life, godliness, and salvation. Therefore it forever remains the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human behavior, belief, and opinion should be tested.
The True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God. God is the infinite, personal spirit who gave his Hebrew name as Yahweh (or the LORD). He is the all-powerful maker and sovereign ruler of heaven and earth who guides everything according to his perfect plan. He is infinitely glorious in his love and holiness and worthy of all our honor, confidence, and love. In the unity of the one God there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these three is fully God, and each performs distinct and harmonious roles in the great work of redemption.
The Creation, Fall and Depravity of Mankind
We believe that the first man and woman were created holy and in the image of God. Their purpose was to glorify God and enjoy him forever in loving and joyful obedience under his holy law. By willful disobedience, though, they fell from that holy and blessed condition. As a result all people sin and inherit a sinful nature at birth - not that they are forced to sin, but they choose to because their fallen nature completely lacks the holiness required by the law of God, and instead actively inclines them toward evil. Therefore all mankind is under the just sentence of eternal punishment without defense or excuse.
Jesus Christ and the Gospel
We believe the Gospel is the good news that salvation from sin is solely by grace through the mediation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Father appointed him to be born of a virgin, fully taking upon himself our nature, yet without sin. He honored God's law by his personal obedience and, by his death on the cross, he made a full atonement for us by satisfying God's wrath against our sins. He rose bodily from the dead on the third day, and he is now enthroned in heaven. As our advocate before the Father he combines tender compassion with the full perfection of God so that he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, sympathetic, and all-sufficient Savior.
The Freeness of Salvation
We believe that, through the Gospel, the blessings of salvation are freely offered to all and that is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a heartfelt, penitent, and obedient faith. Nothing prevents the salvation of even the greatest sinner but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel. This rejection only increases his guilt and condemnation. Christ's love and command compel us to persuasively present the Gospel to everyone while displaying God's glory in lives transformed by his love and grace.
Grace in Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regnerated, or born again. Regeneration is the supernatural renewal of the sinner by the creation of a new, holy orientation of the inner person. It is accomplished in a manner beyond our understanding by the power of the Holy Spirit, through God's word which is living and active, so that it brings about our voluntary obedience to the Gospel. The distinctive evidence of regeneration is in its holy fruits such as repentance, faith, and love.
Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are requirements and are also inseperable gifts of grace formed in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God. In repentance we are deeply convinced of our helplessness, guilt, and doom, and of the way of salvation by Christ. We are enabled to turn to God with genuine sorrow, confession, and pleas for mercy. By faith we also wholeheartedly receive Jesus Christ as our King and rely on him as the only and all-sufficient Savior.
We believe that the great blessings which Christ secures for believers is justification. Justification includes the forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life without compromising God's righteousness. It is given not on the basis of any good works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. God imputes, or credits, the perfect righteousness of Christ to everyone who trusts in him. Justification brings us into a state of peace and favor with God and obtains for us every other blessing we need now and for eternity.
We believe that sanctification is the lifelong process by which God renews us in his holy image, enabling us to overcome sin and grow in love and obedience. It is a gradual process. Sanctification begins in regeneration. It is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, as we continually use God's appointed means - especially the word of God, self-examination, fellowship, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.
The Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that all who are real Christians, those elected by God, endure to the end and that their persevering devotion and obedience to Christ is the mark which differentiates them from those who profess faith in a merely superficial way. Real Christians may, for a time, fall into temptation and sin so that they dishonor their Master, bring grief and chastisement upon themselves and bring confusion and shame upon their brothers and sisters in Christ. They will, however, be restored to repentance so that their new nature prevails. God watches over their welfare by a special providence and keeps them by his power through faith that leads to salvation.
God's Purpose of Grace
We believe that election is the eternal plan of God, in which he sovereignly and graciously chooses to regenerate, sanctify, and save sinners. Election is perfectly consistent with responsible, free human choice, because God plans not only a person's salvation, but also all the circumstances that lead to it. And so election encourages human effort. Election is a glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infintiely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy. Election may be recognized by its results in all who truly believe the Gospel. It is the foundation of Christian assurance and making certain of it demands and deserves our utmost diligence.
The Law, Love and the Gospel
We believe that the law of God is the eternal, unchanging rule of right and wrong which is written both on human hearts and, more clearly, in the Bible. The law is summarized in the great commandments to love the Lord with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. The law is holy, just and good and all people owe it perfect obedience. The only reason people can't keep it is because of their love of sin, so through the law we become conscious of sin. To rescue us from this perversity is a chief purpose of the Gospel, which restores us to genuine obedience to the holy law through Christ.
A Gospel Church
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper, governed by his teaching, gathering on the Lord's Day for public observance of the means of grace, giving to the work of the Gospel, proclaiming the good news to the nations and exercising the gifts, rights, responsibilities, and privledges invested in them by his word. The only two church offices established in Scripture are elder (also called pastor, bishop, or overseer) and deacon whose qualifications and duties are defined in the epistles to Timothy and Titus. As members of the body of Christ, all believers are called to join themselves to a local Gospel church.
We believe that baptism is commanded by Christ for all Christians and that it is the immersion in water of a believer into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It shows, by means of a solemn and beautiful symbol, both our union by faith with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and our death to sin and resurrection into a new life.
The Lord's Supper
We believe that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper in which a church, by reverent use of bread and cup, with self-examination, regularly commemorates the sacrificial love of Christ in his crucifixion as he commanded us. In the Lord's Supper we commune with, and are nourished spiritually by, Christ through faith in his word, confirming our devotion to the Lord and to one another.
We believe that civil government is instituted by God for the interests and good order of human society. Its leaders are to be prayed for, conscientously honored and obeyed except only in matters opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Church and state to be kept separate as having different functions under God. Each should fulfill its duties free from control or sponsorship by the other.
The Righteous and the Unrighteous
We believe that only those who through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and are being sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in his view. There is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the unrighteous and all those who continue in unrepentance and unbelief are, in his sight, wicked and under his curse. This distinction continues to hold both in life and after death.
The World to Come
We believe that the end of the world is approaching, though God has not revealed its exact time. At the end of the age, Christ will descend from heaven. He will raise the dead from the grave for final judgment. A solemn separation will take place: the unrighteous will be assigned to endless punishment and the righteous to endless joy in a new heaven and new earth. This judgment will fix forever the final state of people in heaven or hell in accordance with God's righteousness. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.